Sashiko & Shibori Sari

Here is another textile from Tansu Design; a fabulous 19th or early 20th century stitched and dyed sari from India. I wish I’d had more time to ask questions and a better camera on me when I was in the gallery, but this was the best I could do with my iPhone before running out the door to avoid a parking ticket.

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What caught my notice at first were the concentric circles–not spirals–set so evenly with squares wedged in between. When I unfolded it, and I didn’t completely unfold it due to the aforementioned lack of time, I found the beautiful dye work and exquisitely stitched details. Every line, curve, and detail you see was hand stitched. It really is quite amazing. The textile is a light silk with a delicate but sturdy hand and drape.

In Japanese terms, this textile exhibits a combination of shibori and sashiko; I am unfamiliar with what these would be called in Indian textile design. The line dividing the red/orange and silver/gray is meant to be noticed, not hidden neatly, yet the stitched lines delineating it are quite clear. Everything about the stitching is neat and orderly, but the dye work is bold and simplistic. The juxtaposition is well executed and quite delightful.

Can you imagine wearing something so graceful, and with such amazing details? Modern saris are beautiful as well, but the subtle colors of this older example are so different from today’s bright, sparkling, beaded and sheer (sometimes neon!) saris.

Note: if you are unable to view the slideshow, please let me know and I will post still photos as well.

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